History, Civilian Government
Julio Maria Sanguinetti, Luis Alberto Lacalle, Colorado Party, legislative elections, veto power
Presidential elections were held in November 1984, with the armed forces exercising veto power over the choice of nominees. The winner was a moderate, Julio Maria Sanguinetti of the Colorado Party. He took office in March 1985. An amnesty covering all members of the military accused of human rights violations from 1973 to 1985 was granted in 1986 and upheld by referendum in 1989. The government executed about 150 Uruguayans between 1973 and 1985. About 200 people “disappeared,” and thousands of others were imprisoned and tortured.
In 1989 Luis Alberto Lacalle of the Blancos was elected president. Economic stagnation and rising inflation soon prompted him to implement an austerity program and to announce plans to privatize state-run companies. In protest, labor leaders called a series of general strikes. Former president Julio Maria Sanguinetti, a candidate for the Colorado Party, won the 1994 presidential election. In legislative elections the Broad Front, a leftist coalition that includes Communists, Socialists, and former Tupamaro guerrillas, made significant inroads against the more traditional Blanco and Colorado parties.
In November 1999 the Colorado Party’s Jorge Batlle defeated the Broad Front’s Tabare Vasquez in Uruguay’s presidential election. Vasquez had forced a runoff by winning the first round in October, and Batlle was only able to win after gaining the Blancos’ support. The Broad Front won pluralities in both houses of the legislature in the October legislative elections.
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